The Wild Peanut – Akeem Ojuko
Akeem Ojuko’s love for peanuts and his vision to see the food industry become more healthy inspired his innovative creation ‘The Wild Peanut’.
Over 300,000 jars of The Wild Peanut has been sold, since launching in September 2014, with Akeem planning to launch additional flavours this Spring – Porridges, Nuts and Peanut Punch (milkshakes).
Determined to pursue a life of entrepreneurship, Akeem, 27, dropped out of university halfway to set up his first business.
“Everyone has the ability to create something great”
“I went to University of Portsmouth and I was achieving a 2:1 at the end of my second year, when I decided to leave to pursue my business ambition – This, at the time, was running a sales and marketing company.
I left in June 2013 to start Blueline Ltd within 3 weeks of leaving and managed to turnover almost£8,000 profit in under 2 months. It was then part-sold after growing the employees from 0 to 27 team members.
The company connected clients with existing and new customers through various offline and online channels. Some of our clients included Talk Talk, Save the Children and ADT Fire & Security.
I made the decision to leave Blueline Ltd because I had a passion for wanting to grow The Wild Peanut within a market I’ve always had interest in.
In life, I feel it’s important to maximise opportunities when you come across them as opposed to dwelling on something for weeks, months and even years.
Without being cliché, The Wild Peanut came from my love of peanut butter and not been able to find a healthy option of mixed peanut butter anywhere.
I realised that thousands of people, including myself, would spread peanut butter with banana slices, or with other flavoured products, so I thought why has no one created a product to fit this problem.
This was matched with going on a personal health journey myself, with the goal to create a lasting brand that will have a positive health impact in the market.
The objective was to create a health brand, with a difference, and hopefully make a long-lasting footprint in the food industry by bringing innovation and change.
I’ve always seen myself as a business owner since I turned 17. From there, I realised that I had a passion for creating new opportunities.
I dealt with absolutely every issue you could imagine, at the time of building The Wild Peanut, regarding suppliers and finance issues.
I overcame them by constantly thinking of solutions at the time and going from there. You never know what you’d do in certain situations until you are actually in it.
I’m glad my passion and end goal were big enough to motivate me through those hard times.
Regarding running your own business – I’d say it’s the creative freedom that I get.
I think, in this world, everyone has the ability to create something great but often feel restricted that they cannot bring an idea to life.
No one else owns a business in my family. The struggle that I have seen many of my family members go through gave me the motivation to begin my first business at 17.
I am in the process of launching a new app Vima, a video social platform, so I am juggling between The Wild Peanut and this.
The Wild Peanut recently hit above the 300,000 unit sales mark, which is a good milestone. Over the next few years, our aim is to grow the new lines we are launching this Spring worldwide – Porridges, Nuts and Peanut Punch (milkshakes).”
Advice for others – “Surround yourself with as many mentors as possible at the beginning, and as simple as it sounds, start. There will be hard times but remember that tough times don’t last – tough people do.”